English Pea and Ricotta Tart for the Perfect Savory Brunch
Wait to make this tart when you can get garden fresh peas. The season is short, which is why we have brought this recipe to you in plenty of time to plan. And take advantage of frozen puff pastry, which can be found in any well-stocked supermarket. At some stores, such as Whole Foods, you can find an all-butter version like DuFour, which we love. You can read Puff Pastry Tips for a primer. This recipe is from Brigit Binn’s book Let’s Do Brunchand makes a simple but impressive presentation at a fancy brunch. The flavors of fresh peas, pea shoots, mint, lemon, ricotta and black pepper come together perfectly set off by the buttery, flaky pastry. Brigit has also brought us her decadent Banana–Brown Butter Waffles with Dulce de Leche, for a sweeter take on this early-day meal.
Excerpted with permission. Let’s Do Brunchby Brigit Binns. Published by Weldon Owen 2013.
This delightfully delicate tart adds an elegant yet unfussy note to any brunch table. Search out fresh peas in their short season, late spring into summer.
- 8-by-10-inch (20-by-25 cm) sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
- 1⅓ cups (6 ½ oz/200 g) shelled peas
- 1 cup (8 oz/250 g) whole-milk ricotta cheese, drained
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint, plus small leaves for garnish
- 1 tsp minced lemon zest
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup (1/4 oz/7 g) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 green onions, white and green parts, very thinly sliced on the diagonal
- Fresh lemon juice for seasoning
- Pea shoots for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the puff pastry on the prepared sheet and bake until puffed, 10–13 minutes. Remove from the oven, top with a sheet of parchment paper and another baking sheet, and bake until golden and crisp, 10–13 minutes. Remove the top baking sheet and parchment paper and let cool.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and cook until tender, 2–3 minutes. Drain and rinse briefly under cold running water. Reserve 1⁄3 cup (11⁄2 oz/15 g) of the peas. In a food processor, process the remaining peas, the ricotta, and 1 Tbsp of the chopped mint to make a chunky purée. Stir in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, combine the parsley, the remaining 2 Tbsp mint, the green onions, and the reserved peas. Season with salt and lemon juice. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the pastry and top with the parsley mixture. Garnish with mint leaves and with pea shoots, if desired. Cut into pieces and serve.
Start off with poached asparagus accompanied with aioli for dipping. If you feel like including a little meat in the menu, you can’t go wrong with crisp bacon.
spring brunch sip
Mix up a Pimm’s Cup by adding sparkling lemonade or lemon- lime soda to Pimm’s No. 1 in an ice-filled highball glass; add plenty of garnishes like sliced apples, orange peel, and mint.